The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions (IEA March 2021)

The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions (IEA March 2021)

Today, the global energy system is in the midst of a major transition to clean energy. The efforts of an ever-expanding number of countries and companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to net zero call for the massive deployment of a wide range of clean energy technologies, many of which in turn rely on critical minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements. This World Energy Outlook special report on The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions identifies risks to key minerals and metals that – left unaddressed – could make global progress towards a clean energy future slower or more costly, and therefore hamper international efforts to tackle climate change.

This paper, The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions, by the IEA is a detailed look at the critical minerals and metals required for the perceived (forecast) growth in demand. It includes a host of references in its appendix as well.

It is very worth reading.

However it is Matau Advisory’s view that the report pays little attention to, and simply assumes the ability or capacity of the resources industry to supply the required raw materials (minerals & metals) at the proposed growth rates. On average it takes 6-10 years from discovery drill hole through evaluation, feasibility studies, permitting, environmental & heritage studies (often conducted in parallel), Financial Investment Decision, construction & development, commissioning, to production at name-plate rates. Many of the key commodities are currently in short supply (at current prices) even at the relatively low demand growth rates of the current time.

The supply of the key minerals and metals (Cu, Ni, Li, Mn, Co, graphite, Cr, Mo, Zn, REE, Si, and some others) will be critical to achieve those growth rates.

Commodity Review 20180810 by Andrew Pedler – Now Available

Commodity Review 20180810 by Andrew Pedler – Now Available

This week’s comments of particular interest are noted with ‘*’.


*Copper  BHP requests Chilean govt mediation at Escondida.  Workers at Codelco’s Chuquicamata on strike.

*Cobalt  Diverse end-uses.  Demand growth to 2030 from EVs and stationary batteries is strong.

*Nickel  Ni miners market optimism has increased, more so for sulphide producers.

Zinc & Lead  NCZ resumed operations at Century Zn mine in Qld.  WA EPA approves Paroo Stn Pb mine.

Tin  Reuters discontinues its NY spot tin price publication.

Aluminium  Strike at Alcoa (Australia) and potential Rusal (Russia) shutdowns.

Gold  Potential interest in Au, regarding Turkey’s TRY collapse and USA sanctions on Turkey.

Platinum & Palladium  Political storm brewing in Sth Africa over Implats’ decision to cut costs, jobs and production.

Oil  IEA raised demand outlook and supply of non-OPEC oil.

*Coal  pot prices for SSCC & LVPCI are below Newcastle thermal!.  Market is out of wack!

*Iron Ore  China’s imported iron ore market gradually stabilize after unexpected rally this week.

Shipping  Cape & Panamax rates down this week.


*Battery Minerals – Cobalt, Lithium, Graphite and Rare Earths:  Summaries of supply.

*PinchPoint updates:  Most metals (except Sn) are pushing toward volatile ‘noses’ of their curves.

*Port Hedland – Iron Ore shipments:  India increasing imports markedly.

Japan – LNG Prices:  increased ‘contract’ and ‘arrival’ prices.